One often sees later icons of certain members of the Russian Orthodox State Church clergy, saints not accepted by the Old Believers.  Given that they are State Church icons, they tend to have a very strong western European influence, which means they are painted more realistically than the traditional stylization in iconography favored by the Old Believers.  One of the commonly-seen figures is Mitrofan (Mitrophan) of Voronezh (1623-1703).

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

The very clear title inscription on this icon identifies him as:
S[vya]tuiy Mitrofan Voronezhskiy Chudotv[vorets]
“Holy Mitrofan, Wonder-worker of Voronezh”

He is called a “Wonder-worker” because it was said he could work miracles.

Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, and Mitrofan was made first bishop of that city.  Here is an 18th century view of it.  Note the abundance of churches:


There are cannons and stacks of cannonballs in the foreground, as well as a boat and another under construction.  This was the time of Peter the Great, who used Voronezh as a boat-building site for the fleet he used in the Russo-Turkish War in the campaign to capture the Turkish fortress of Azov.  Mitrofan was a strong supporter of Peter’s activities in that war.

Originally a married parish priest, Mitrofan became a monastic in 1663, after the death of his wife.  Three years later he was made head of a monastery, then in 1675 became an archimandrite.  In 1682 he was consecrated bishop of Voronezh.

Though Mitrofan was an avid supporter of the reforms and the military campaign of Peter the Great, he refused to visit the Tsar in his court, because he said there were “pagan idols” there — statues of classical deities.  It was only when Peter removed the statues that Mitrofan would come.  Not only an advisor of the Tsar, Mitrofan even contributed monetarily to the building of the Azov fleet.

At this point it is worth briefly mentioning the Azovskaya icon of Mary, even though it was created after the Russian victory on the Sea of Azov in a later campaign, the Austro-Russian–Turkish War (1735–39).  One can hardly find a more obvious symbol of how intimately connected Church and State had become in Russia:

Mary, with the child Jesus on her breast, stands before the Russian double-headed eagle, the symbol of the Russian State.  At left just above here is St. Peter, who calls to mind Peter the Great.  On the opposite side is the Evangelist John.  At her left and right stand the monks Antoniy and Feodosiy and Alipiy Pecherskiy as well as Moise (Moses) Ugrin, Prokhor, and Mark Pecherskiy.  At lower left, St. George slays a dragon, used here as a symbol of the defeat of the Ottoman Turks by Russia.    At the base is the Fortress of Azov.  It is the kind of icon favored by nationalists.

But back to Mitrofan.  Here is another icon of him:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

Let’s take a quick look at the title inscription:

We see an abbreviated Svyatuiy for “Holy,” then Mitrofan is written in full (note the “t” above the “r”.  And it finishes with the abbreviated words Episko for Episkop, meaning “Bishop”  and Vorone for Voronezhskiy, meaning “of Voronezh.”  Remember that when you see the curved horizontal line above a word, it indicates an abbreviation.

Finally, let’s take a look at the text on the book he is holding:

It is a partial variant of one of Mitrofan’s best-known maxims:

Употреби труд, храни мерность — [богат будеши.] Воздержно пий, мало яждь — здрав [будеши. Твори благо, бегай злаго — спасен будеши].

“Do labour, keep a balance, and you will be rich. Drink temperately, eat little, and you will be healthy. Do good, shun evil, and you will be saved.



There is a term anyone studying Russian or Ukrainian icons should know.  In Russian it is:

БОГОМАЗ — Bogomaz

The plural is богомазы — bogomazui (in common transliteration bogomazy).

Bogomaz was a colloquial term for an icon painter.  It comes from the word  Бог (Bog), meaning “God,” and the verb мазать (mazat’), meaning “to daub or smear on something greasy or oily.”  It is the word used, for example, in smearing butter on bread.

The common English translation of bogomaz is “God-dauber.”  Though sometimes used (rather slightingly) of icon painters in general, it has come to be more specifically applied to painters without professional training, “self-taught” artists.  They were the kind we would refer to as “primitive” artists, because they were generally untaught or unskilled or both.  As I often say, the saints and other “holy” persons in Russian icons were the replacements for the old non-Christian gods, continuing polytheism in another context, so I like the term bogomazui because it reflects that.

Bogomazui, in the context of the modern study of icons, generally refers to “folk” or “village” icon painters who did not work in professional studios, and were likely not even to be full-time painters.  Instead they were often workers in other professions such as carpentry or blacksmithing.  They painted icons in their spare time to earn some extra money.

The bogomazui did not paint for a high-class, wealthy market, or for sophisticated customers.  Instead, they painted for ordinary people, for peasants with little money who nonetheless wanted to have an icon.  And as most peasants were illiterate in those days, the painter did not have to worry too much about mistakes in spelling and even the occasional mistake in iconography.

The likelihood of painter’s mistakes was increased by their habit of painting directly, without using a preliminary outline stencil or pattern, instead brushing on the figures freehand, generally using only a very small number of colors.  So there was a derogatory saying that the bogomazui were likely to paint

…Егорья пешком, а Пятницу на коне
“…Egoriy [Georgiy] on foot, and Pyatnitsa [Paraskeva] on a horse.”

That means they might get the iconography of even common saints wrong, such as by painting St. George, who is traditionally shown on horseback, on foot; and contrariwise, by painting the female patron saint Paraskeva Pyatnitsa on horseback, though that is not at all her correct iconography.

They liked painting popular “folk” saints, such as Mary, Ilya (the prophet Elijah), Nikolai (St. Nicholas), and has we have seen, St. George and Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, the kind of common saints prayed to for the daily needs of peasants, such as rain or good weather, for safety on rivers, in childbirth, for the protection of animals and fowl, and so on.

The bogomazui also sometimes used subjects that were not considered entirely “Orthodox” in the traditional sense, subjects picked up from Western religious art — the kind of thing present-day Eastern Orthodox fundamentalists like to call “uncanonical.”  But of course Western art had long had an influence on icon painting in one way or another.

Some Russians like to define bogomaz icons as simply “bad” icons, but in my opinion that is far too snobbish and certainly not always true, any more than self-taught painting from any country is always “bad.”

Bogomazui worked in many places, from Belarus in the West eastward through the Urals to Siberia, and as far south as the present-day Ukraine.  The range of their works is wide in quality, and can be stretched to include even some of the less expensive icon production in Kholui, one of the three main icon painting villages in Vladimir province.  Among them is a class of icons that are often quite pleasing — those icons with bright red borders and foliage-filled backgrounds and garments that look like old gold, but are really cheap silvery metal leaf covered with a tinted varnish to make it appear gold.  Real gold leaf was far too expensive for the “peasant” market, so on “God-dauber” icons it is either such false gold leaf or else tinfoil, or to make them even cheaper, no metal ornamentation at all.

Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, 19th c. (Kostroma Museum)

Paraskeva Pyatnitsa, 19th c. (Kostroma Museum)

Such Kholui “folk” icons were sold both locally and shipped off to far distant fairs and public markets, and that was where the works of the bogomazui were generally found — ready-painted in places where the peasant with a little money and a desire for an affordable “holy icon” could easily find and buy them.

Just as the geographical range of production of “folk” icons was wide, so was the range of styles; there is not just a single folk style.  A Ukrainian folk icon will look quite different than one painted in Siberia.  What they all have in common is that “primitive” look, and of course even among untrained painters there were those more naturally talented than others.

Though some folk icons were painted on the traditional gesso-covered cloth glued to a wooden panel, some bogomazui cut costs by either substituting paper for cloth, or else by eliminating the gesso ground entirely.  It was not uncommon for thinned oil paints to be used instead of the more traditional tempera.

Officials occasionally made attempts to somehow control the production of inexpensive folk icons, as in 1809 and 1858, when efforts were made to prohibit such icons in the Ukraine, or when in 1872 the Diocese of Orenburg attempted to prohibit the sale of “ugly-painted” icons (“безобразно писаных икон”).  But of course the key to the popularity of such icons was their low price, and so production was merely responding to and filling popular demand.  And high-quality icons were not, in any case, easily available in more isolated regions, even if one could afford them.

There was a time when all the icons of the bogomazui were looked upon with scorn by collectors, but just as icons of the 18th and 19th centuries were originally not appreciated but have since become quite desirable, the same has begun to happen with “folk” icons.  Some are easily able to take their place as pleasing and colorful examples of popular art, but one cannot say that of all of them.  So one must be discerning in judging among them, with many of the better examples having artistic and monetary value as folk objects, but some remaining merely of interest as “antique” — and still of little worth.

There is an interesting and rather bizarre rumor that spread about among the Old Believers in the 19th century.  It was said that one had to be careful, because some bogomazui involved in Black Magic would paint a kind of icon called a “Hades-painted” icon (Адописная икона), often translated into English as a “Hell” icon.  It was said that such a sly and evil person would first paint an icon with the image of the Devil or devils, and would then apply a ground of gesso over that to hide it.  On top of this second ground, he would paint a saint or saints, so that when one prayed before such an icon, one was actually praying to the Devil.  Though there seems no solid evidence to confirm the existence of such images, the story gives a good idea of the kind of thinking among less-educated believers in the 19th century.  And of course it would have been a useful story for the higher-priced professional studios to promote about their cheaper rivals.

Never forget that icon painting was a business, and a very big one in Russia.




The Old Testament Book of Daniel is the source of several icons.  It is an historical fiction (though presented as history) set in Babylon in the time of Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562 b.c.e).  It was actually written, scholars have determined, in the 2nd century c.e.  It is partly in Hebrew, partly in Aramaic.  The version used in Eastern Orthodoxy is longer than that of the Protestant Bible, including additions written in Greek:  The Prayer of Azariah, Susannah, and Bel and the Dragon.

The Prayer of Azariah segment is inserted between Chapter 3:23 and 3:24 of Daniel.  It includes the “Song of the Three Holy Youths,” which is used as part of an Eastern Orthodox canon sung during Matins, etc. The Susannah segment forms Chapter 13 of Daniel in Eastern Orthodox bibles.  It is widely known in Western art for the erotic scene of Susannah watched by the voyeuristic Elders while bathing.  Bel and the Dragon forms Chapter 14 of Daniel in Eastern Orthodox Bibles (and yes, it really does feature a dragon).

Significantly Daniel, being a very late composition, is the only Old Testament book to give angels names, as do the so-called Apocrypha and the New Testament.  It is in Daniel that we are first introduced to the angels Michael and Gabriel, very common figures in icons.

Briefly, the Book of Daniel relates the tale of an aristocratic Jewish young man taken captive during the Babylonian invasion of Jerusalem.  Brought to the city of Babylon, he is made an official in the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.  He becomes well-known in the court because of his ability to interpret dreams, which he does both for Nebuchadnezzar and his successor Cyrus, King of Persia.

Through the wiles of his enemies, Daniel is thrown by the King into a den of lions, but because of his righteousness and faithfulness to the Jewish God, he survives.   Daniel has divine and heavily symbolic visions of “future” events, and so he becomes noted as a prophet.  In Russian iconography, Daniel is found in the Prophets’ Tier of the iconostasis in Russian Orthodox Churches.

The Book of Daniel also contains the well-known story of the Three Youths, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Jewish captives who were thrown into the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they would not worship his image.

Let’s begin by looking at a very early “pre-icon” period image from the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome, circa 300 c.e.:

It represents the “Three Youths,” or as they are better known in the West, the “Three Hebrew Children” in the fiery furnace.  In early Christian art it seems to have been used as a symbol of deliverance from death, as were catacomb images of Daniel in the lions’ den.  Not all early Christian images from the “symbolic” period survived in later icon art, and those that did are depicted somewhat differently.

Here is a Russian icon of the Three Youths:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

The inscription on it reads:

“[The] Three Youths in [the] Furnace”

Nebuchadnezzar is seated on his throne at right, and behind him is the image the Three Youths refused to worship.  They stand unharmed in the fiery furnace, protected by an angel who is generally seen, in Eastern Orthodoxy, as Jesus.  In some examples the halo of the angel has the three bars of the cross commonly found in the halo of Jesus.

In Greek iconography, the type is called Οι Άγιοι Τρεις Παίδες εν τη Καμίνω — Hoi Hagioi Treis Paides en te Kamino — “The Holy Three Boys in the Furnace.”  And neither the Russians nor the Greeks use the Hebrew forms of their names, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; instead, they are in Greek Ανανιας, Αζαριας, and Μισαηλ — Ananias, Azarias, and Misael.

Of course both Russian and Greek iconography includes the very old scene of Daniel in the Lion’s Den.  Here is a very “Westernized” Greek icon of the type, showing popular taste in icons in the 19th and early 20th century, far from the older “byzantine” manner:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

The inscription on it reads:  Ο ΠΡΟΦΗΤΗΣ ΔΑΝΙΗΛ — HO PROPHETES DANIEL — “The Prophet Daniel.”  And the lions are rather charming.

There is also a very seldom-seen variant of the “Daniel in the Lion’s Den” type.  It too is called Пророк Даниил во рву львином — Prorok Daniil vo rvu l’vionom — “The Prophet Daniel in the Den of Lions,” but it includes, as you can see, an unusual added element:

(Source: коллекция русских икон арт-галереи Дежа Вю)

коллекция русских икон арт-галереи Дежа Вю)

This 17th-century icon is from the side door of an iconostasis in a church on the Volga.  Its imagery is taken from one of the texts added to the Book of Daniel, in this case the Chapter 14 segment, which Roman Catholics call “Bel and the Dragon”:

33 Now there was in Jewry a prophet, called Habbakuk, who had made pottage, and had broken bread in a bowl, and was going into the field, for to bring it to the reapers. 34 But the angel of the Lord said to Habbakuk, Go, carry the dinner that you have into Babylon to Daniel, who is in the lions’ den.

35 And Habbakuk said, Lord, I never saw Babylon; nor do I know where the den is. 36 Then the angel of the Lord took him by the crown, and carried him by the hair of his head, and through the vehemency of his spirit set him in Babylon above the den. 37 And Habbakuk cried, saying, O Daniel, Daniel, take the dinner which God has sent you.

38 And Daniel said, You have remembered me, O God: nor have you forsaken those who seek you and love you. 39 So Daniel arose, and ate: and the angel of the Lord set Habbakuk in his own place again immediately.

So that is what we see in this variant:  Habbakuk, with his container of pottage, carried into Babylon by an angel, to give the food to Daniel.  And Daniel in the den, with the submissive lions at his feet,  is looking up at Habbakuk.  At the very top, in heaven, is an image of Jesus in his youthful form, called Christ “Immanuel.”

This does not quite complete the number of types related to Daniel, but it is enough for now.  So I will finish today with this very pleasant Russian image of Daniel (at right) painted in the more traditional manner, as he would be seen in the Prophets’ Tier of an iconostasis. The image at left is the Prophet Ezekiel:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of



Here is an image of one of the most traditionally popular saints in Russia — Paraskeva:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

Her title is Svyataya Paraskeva Pyatnitsa.  You already know (if you have been reading this site) that Svyataya is the feminine form of the word “Holy.”  Paraskeva is the slavicized Greek Name Παρασκευή — pronounced Paraskevi in modern Greek. In Greece she is also known less formally as  Paraskevoula, which accounts for those Greek ladies called Voula.  In Greek, her name means “Friday.”  When she was adopted by Russia, people did not know what it meant, so the secondary Russian name Pyatnitsa was added.  Pyatnitsa also means “Friday.”  So, odd as it seems, this is  Paraskeva Pyatnitsa  — Saint Friday-Friday.  On Russian icons her name is sometimes written as Paraskoviya, as in this example.

It is traditional for her scroll to show the beginning words of the “Symbol of Faith” — the Nicene Creed:

Верую во единого Бога, Отца Вседержителя, Творца неба и земли…
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth…

At first glance, there seems no reason why Paraskeva should have been so popular.  Her name in Greek — Paraskevi — while it refers to Friday, is derived from the verb παρασκευάζω meaning “to get ready, to prepare.”  It is used for the “Day of Preparation” in the New Testament — of preparation for the Jewish Sabbath on Saturday.  So that is why it means also “Friday.”  And significantly, according to the Gospels, Jesus was crucified on Friday.  It is said that Paraskeva was given this name because she was born on a Friday, near Rome, in the 2nd century c.e.

This repetitious connection with Friday is the key to her popularity.

In early pre-Christian Russian lands, Friday was apparently a day sacred to the Slavic goddess  Makosh (Макошь), just as our Friday was originally named in honor of the Nordic Goddess Freya.  Makosh had authority over things important to women — marriage, childbirth, and particularly female occupations such as spinning and weaving.  October 28th was considered the birthday of Paraskeva, and on that day, by folk tradition, women were not to spin or weave or wash linen or children, or go into water; otherwise they would be severely punished by the saint.

Now this connection of both Makosh and her double Paraskeva with the spinning of thread and its weaving is very significant.  The goddess  Makosh is said to have also had power over destiny, which associates her — through spinning — with the Greek Fates (Moirai) and the Scandinavian Norns, who spun and cut the threads of human life and fate.  So that is why anything involving the making and weaving of thread is so important to Paraskeva.  She was very powerful, and in fact an aspect of the ancient Mother Goddess under a Christian name, which is why Paraskeva, in popular Russian thought and folk belief, tended to blend into Mary, mother of Jesus, who was also a Mother Goddess figure in practice (though of course that would not be stated in official Church theology).

In keeping with this connection with human fate and time, Paraskeva is associated with twelve significant Fridays of the calendar year — the Twelve Paraskevas — days on which fasting is said to bring remarkable benefits to those honoring her.  The list of Fridays is found in a document popular among the peasantry, and said to have been written by Pope Clement.  It is called:

Поучение, иже во святых отца нашего Климента, папы Рымскаго о дванадесятницах — “The teaching which is according to our father Clement, Pope of Rome, about the Twelve Days,”

So fasting on all these special Fridays would supposedly protect the believer from, among other things, sudden death, execution, poverty, evil spirits, drowning, lightning and hail, from famine, and ultimately it was believed to ensure the salvation of the believer, stating that those who fast on the Friday before Epiphany would have their names written in the “Book of Life.”  The peasants considered it wise not to discuss this document and its promises with the official clergy, who might be displeased by peasants having such an alternate route to Heaven.

It is not surprising that Paraskeva was also associated with the fertility of the fields and their watering by rain.  In fact she is reminiscent of the germanic Earth Goddess Perchta, also known as Frau Holle, and in English as “Mother Hulda.”  And like this goddess, she was not only associated with springs and water (in some places coins were cast into springs as offerings to her), but she also had a negative aspect.

The germanic goddess Perchta, at her special time of year, would come into homes to make sure the women had been diligent in spinning.   We have seen that Paraskeva also had this association with spinning.  And again like Perchta, Paraskeva had two aspects — that of a beautiful and radiant young woman, but also that of an ugly old hag clothed in rags and dirt.  And just as Perchta punished those who had not been dutiful in spinning, Paraskeva,  as ragged old hag,  would punish those who did not refrain from spinning on a day when it was prohibited.  Among her worst punishments were diseases of the eyes and fingers, both of which severely affected one’s ability to spin and weave.  And do not forget that in the old days, thread had to be spun by hand, and cloth had to be made by hand.  For a peasant woman to lose this ability was disastrous.



In a previous posting I mentioned the семейная икона (semeinaya icona). In Russian, семейство (semeistvo) means “family”; so a семейная / semeinaya icon is a “family icon.” A family icon depicts the saints for whom the members of a family are named. When one comes across an icon with a gathering of saints that seem to have been put together for no obvious reason, it is most likely to be a “family” icon. Such an icon often includes the generic image of the “Guardian Angel,” but not always.  Here is an example:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

It depicts the martyr Khrisanf (Chrysanthos), Thomas Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Evfimiy (Euthemios), Patriarch Sofroniy (Sophronios) of Jerusalem, and the Martyr Daria, with Jesus blessing from the clouds above.

Remember to distinguish the “family” icon, from the патрональная икона — patronal’naya ikona — meaning the “patronal” icon. A “patronal” icon traditionally depicts a saint for whom an individual is named in baptism, his or her “patron saint” as we would say in the West.  It is sometimes called an именная икона — immenaya ikona — a “name” icon, or a тезоименная икона — a “name-sake” icon.  In modern Russian Orthodoxy an icon depicting a single saint may not always be one’s “name day” (also called “angel day) saint, but also possibly one chosen by an individual as a special protector. Here is an example of a patronal icon depicting the Martyr Sophia:


A tradition  in the making of icons for Russian royalty in the 17th and 18th centuries was the painting of a patronal icon for a newborn child on a wooden panel cut to the length of the child, and painted with the child’s name saint.  Such an icon is called a мерная икона — mernaya ikona “measure” icon.  In modern Russia the practice has been revived for icons ordered by ordinary people.


In the latter part of the 19th century, lithographed icons on tin or on paper — such as this  example — contributed to the decline of icon painting in Russia.  The reason was obvious; printed icons were much cheaper than painted icons, and they did the job just as well, from a strictly utilitarian point of view.

The saint depicted here is Tikhon Kaluzhskiy — Tikhon of Kaluga:

(Courtesy of

His title in full is Преподобный Тихон Медынский Калужский чудотворец — “Venerable Tikhon of Meduin and Kaluga, Wonderworker.”   Little information has come down about him.  What there is says that he was a Russian saint of the 15th century. Said to have been born in Kiev, he went while still young to Moscow, where he became a monk.  Later he went to live an ascetic life between the towns of Meduin and Kaluga, on the banks of the river Vepreika.  There he took up residence in a hollow oak tree on land claimed by Prince Yaroslav Vladimirovich.  One day the prince was out hunting, and happened to discover Tikhon living on his land.  The Prince flew into a fury and tried to whip Tikhon, but was shocked to find the arm holding the whip had gone numb.  He saw this as a divine sign, and after asking forgiveness, offered to donate money for the building of a monastery.

Just as Simeon Verkhoturskiy is recognized by his fishing pole and bucket, Tikhon of Kaluga is recognized by the hollow oak tree in which he lived.  In the background one can see the Monastery he founded, the Dormition Monastery.

Tikhon is not the only saint who is said to have lived in a hollow tree (for example, the Bulgarian popular saint Ioann (John) of Rila is said to have done so), but when you see a Russian icon depicting a monk standing in a big hollow tree, it is very likely to be Tikhon.


You have probably heard of the Church of Holy Wisdom (now a museum) in Istanbul, the city which, under the name Constantinople, was once the center not only of the Byzantine Empire but also of the Eastern Orthodox Church until it fell to the invading islamic Turks in 1453.  I mention it today because its name has led to some minor confusion.

That confusion arises largely from some calling the church “Saint Sophia.”  However, it was not dedicated to a saint named Sophia, but rather to Jesus in his manifestation as “Holy Wisdom,” which in Greek is Hagia Sophia.

Now you will recall that Hagia in Greek means “holy,” and so it is the word used as the equivalent of our English word “saint.”  So Hagia Sophia can be translated literally as “Holy Wisdom,” or it can be understood to mean “Saint Sophia.”  But “Holy Wisdom” is Jesus, not a saint.  There is, however, a saint found in Eastern Orthodox icons named Sophia.

Do you have all of that straight?  If so, we can move on to take a brief look not at “Holy Wisdom” but rather at the saint named Sophia.

Sophia, according to tradition, was an early Roman Christian, the mother of three daughters named (in Slavic) Vera, Nadezda, and Liubov (“Faith, Hope, and Love” — all supposedly martyred during the reign of the Roman emperor Hadrian (ruled 117-138).

Here is an old Novgorodian icon of Sophia with her three daughters:

(Russian State Museum)

(Russian State Museum)

 If we translate their names, we get a mother named “Wisdom” whose daughters are “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Love” (or “Charity,” in KJV English).

Now this may seem a bit too contrived — a mother named Wisdom, with offspring named Faith, Hope, and Love, and some scholars think precisely that — that these are completely fictional saints.  Others would say that while the traditional accounts of their martyrdom are fictional, their martyrdom may have been real.  In later writings there seem to have been two groups of four martyrs by the same name — one mother and daughters group with Greek names, supposedly buried on the Aurelian Way at Rome, and another group of presumably unrelated companions with Latin names, supposedly buried on the Appian Way in the Cemetery of St. Callistus.

The end of the matter is that whether they were entirely or merely partly fictional remains uncertain, but in any case their images are not uncommon in both Russian and (generally later) Greek icons.

Here they are again, in a later Russian icon that also includes the Archangel Gabriel at left and Metropolitan Mikhail of Kiev at right:

(Courtesy of

(Courtesy of

Now aren’t you happy to get such a short and undemanding posting after yesterday’s very long one?